An Even and A regional Tendency

The political debate in Iraq on the oil and gas law required the direct intervention of US president George Bush, who personally contacted yesterday high ranking officials in the Iraqi authority and heads of parliamentary blocs to urge them to accelerate approving this law, which was prepared by the group of the ruler Bremer, who put its basic lines, and which was formed in accordance with the instructions of Halliburton corporation which is owned by the Bush family, Dick Cheney and their partners.
What is new in the public political debate in the Iraqi papers today is that As-Sadr trend and major Sunni blocs and active Kurdish forces have announced their rejection of the law.
The available information in the US press consider this law, which will open the doors of direct contracting between US oil companies and local authorities in Iraq, as the major prize for Bush and Cheney which, compensates the big cost of Iraq war and its political and legal consequences on the reality and future of this current administration’s symbols, and maybe on the Republican party as a whole.
A number of US analysts think that Bush’s administration imposed on the Iraqi authority a recognition of big loans, whose paying requires 30 years at least, but the US eye will remain on the cake of oil in a country which has the biggest oil reserves in the world.

An Event and a Lebanese Tendency

Ministerial sources expressed their surprise concerning the harsh tone of the Maronite Patriarchs council’s statement, which criticized the performance of Fouad al-Siniora government despite the government’s excellent relation with the patriarchy.
The sources said this harsh tone resulted from the opposition’s incitement, while press reports pointed out that there is a growing complaint in Bkirki of the phenomena, which cause growing reactions in the Christian circle that push the church to take necessary stands towards the danger of the political and administrative behavior which creates an impression that there is a tendency in the corridors to marginalize the Christian role in the authority. The issue of canceling the holiday on Good Friday is still hot despite the governmental amendment and blaming the Christians of the loyals before others. The patriarchy found the justification worse than the sin, because mistakes are not allowed in basic issues.
The opposition sources stress that the ruling team, which is supported by Bush and embraced by Chirac, started since at-Taif the marginalization of the Christians and their role and positions in the state’s institutions and that the loyal Christians behave as a secondary follower to this ruling team and its leading axis which includes Jumblatt–Hariri alliance.
The sources add that the theory of marginalization was put by Abdul Haleem Khaddam through a US–French adoption to this alliance, which is still applying this theory.

Arab and International Press

The Israeli paper Ma’ariv published an internal report by the Israeli interior ministry which says Saudi Arabia has abstained from condemning Hamas lest this will push the movement towards Iran, pointing out that Israel received Arab messages calling for stopping the "Saudi peace initiative “term.
Reuters quoted Israeli officials as saying that Israel considers the Arab peace initiative as suspended due to the Saudi opposition to the Western efforts to isolate Hamas.
The Washington Times said in its editorial that riots which broke out in Iran last week due to the restriction of gasoline distribution are a sign on the regime’s weakness.
Arab press and international press agencies said that Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki tends to reduce his government in order to improve its performance, pointing out that the gas and oil law is rejected by major political forces in Iraq.
An Israeli academic study prepared by researchers at Tel Aviv University has revealed that three quarters of the Israelis believe that war with Hezbullah will erupt again.
The Saudi paper al-Sharq ak-Awsat said Ham’s strong military pressures led to a deal with other Palestinian factions to release the British journalist Alan Johnston. This deal accepted the offer of leader of the Islam Army, which provided for issuing a fatwa by a trusted Sheik which says that Alan Johnston is trusty and Muslims should not harm him.
The paper added that prime minister of the ousted government Ismail Hanniyeh considered the British journalist as the Palestinian people’s friend.
The Algerian paper Al-Shuruq said the Algerian judiciary will consider next week an espionage case, which is the first of its kind in the country’s history. Two Algerians will be sued for accusations of spying on Algeria for Israel, Morocco and Spain, and collecting documents and information that affect the security and secrets of the Algerian state.
Press leaks said one of the suspects received training on espionage in Israel.
International press agencies said the US responded to Iranian pressures and allowed the families of the detained Iranian diplomats in Arbil to meet them.
Arab and international press agencies said Britain reduced the state of security alert from the critical stage to the dangerous state.
Russian press said deputy prime minister Sergey Ivanov threatened the US with active similar reaction if Washington rejects the Russian alternative to the missiles shield and with installing missiles near the borders with Poland.

Lebanese Press

Lebanese press said the French envoy left Beirut after finishing his mission to invite Lebanese sides to Paris meeting.
Informed sources in Damascus said head of the international investigation commission into the assassination of Lebanese former premier Rafiq al- Hariri, the Belgian judge Serge Bramertz recently arrived in Damascus on a seven hour work visit and met some Syrian officials and discussed with them technical and procedural issues related to his fifth report on the investigation’s results.
Lebanese press said that Jumblatt accused, in his interview with Reuters, Syria, Iran and Hezbollah of standing behind the state of confusion in Lebanon after failing in ousting al-Siniora government.
National press agencies said the UNIFIL forces introduced modifications into the blue line without coordinating with any Lebanese official side.
Lebanese press quoted President Emile Lahoud as saying that it is impossible to face the difficult circumstances in Lebanon without a unity government.

Arab Satellite Stations’ Interviews

A news report
Head of the liberal trend, General Michel Aoun said from Doha that France is returning today to its normal position through sponsoring the Lebanese dialogue forum.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

The NTV said the French envoy Jean-Claude Cousseran opened a hole in the wall of the existent dispute between the opposition and the authority through adopting dialogue and understanding to solve the Lebanese crisis.

The LBC said the French envoy’s meetings will be fruitful.

The Future TV quoted Representative Walid Jumblatt as saying that secretary general of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah tries to weaken the UNIFIL force in South Lebanon.